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    Entries in benefits (23)

    Wednesday
    Dec202017

    More on the employee caregiver challenge

    Quick shot for a counting down the days before a long holiday break Wednesday. Today's New York Times ran a piece on the growing elder care challenges in the US and the disproportionate impact that elder care demands are placing on female workers. You can read the piece titled 'How Care For Elders, Not Children, Denies Women a Paycheck', here.

    Two things of note from the piece, and then one plug for a recent HR Happy Hour Show we did on this topic in case you missed it.

    One, the numbers and population demographics in the US are making the elder care situation a much greater issue in the last 15 years or so. One researcher estimates that currently there are about 21 million family members in the US who are caring for an adult relative (and not being paid for this care). He estimates that by 2040 this number will increase to around 34 million. So again, the elder care challenge/crisis is only going to increase.

    Two, the responsibility for providing elder care tends to fall predominantly on women. The American Time Use Survey indicates that about a quarter of women aged 45 - 64 are providing some level of elder care. Other research points to decreases in labor force participation for women in this age cohort, a reduction in earnings and hours, and an overall decline in economic health and prosperity for these care givers. Finally, factor in elder relatives living longer, (and needing more long term care), smaller families (lessening the ability to rely on siblings to assist with care), and increased divorce rates, (often making the care giving burden much harder), and you can see that the elder care challenge is complex and real.

    It is important that HR/workplace leaders are aware of these issues as they will continue to impact an increasing percent of American workers. I must admit to having not given the elder care issue much thought until a couple of months ago, when we welcomed Adam Goldberg, CEO and Founder of Torchlight to the HR Happy Hour Show

    Torchlight is an outcomes focused, employee caregiver platform that helps reduce the costs and complexities of modern care giving for families and employers in the U.S. 

    On the show, Adam talked about the growing challenge of care giving in the US, the situation where employees have significant responsibilities outside of work with childcare, elder care, and other care giving situations that require, time, attention, resources, and are a major source of life and work stress for employees.

    I usually don't like to re-post older podcast episodes on the blog here, but after reading the NYT piece this morning, and thinking more about the importance of the issue, I thought it right to try and raise some additional awareness of the challenge and how one innovative company is helping employers and employees.

    You can listen to the podcast with Adam here, on the widget player below, or on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

    Have a great day!

    Monday
    Oct302017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 300 - Taking Care of Employee Caregivers

    HR Happy Hour  300 - Taking Care of Employee Caregivers

    Host : Steve Boese

    Guest: Adam Goldberg, CEO and Founder, Torchlight

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Adam Goldberg, CEO and Founder of Torchlight, an outcomes focused, employee caregiver platform that reduces the costs and complexities of modern caregiving for families and employers in the U.S. 

    On the show, Adam talked about the growing challenge of caregiving in the US, the situation where employees have significant responsibilities outside of work with childcare, elder care, and other caregiving situations that require, time, attention, resources, and are a major source of life and work stress for employees.

    About 1 in 6 employees in the US, (that is over 20 million employees), are facing these challenges, and the changing demographics of the US and the workforce only suggest these challenges are only going to increase, making the employer response to their workforce's needs and concerns in this area more important. It is a billion dollar challenge and problem for US employers.

    Adam shared why this issue matters to him, and to workplaces, how employers have typically responded, (or not responded) in the past, and how modern, technology supported approaches, like the one developed by Torchlight can help employers and employees. 

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This is a significant and growing problem in the workplace and for employees, and it was great to finally discuss this on the HR Happy Hour. Thanks to Adam for joining us.

    Learn more about these issues and about Torchlight at www.torchlight.care and follow them on Twitter - @TorchlightCare

    Thanks to show sponsor Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Also, please take a minute and give us some feedback by taking our HR Happy Hour Podcast Network Survey.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts, just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to never miss a show.

    Tuesday
    Sep262017

    CHART OF THE DAY: What do employee health benefits cost anyway?

    In between arguing with sports teams, players, owners, and fans on Twitter, one of the other things that the US government's leaders have spent a bunch of time on in 2017 are the attempts, (and so far, 'attempting' is all that has been done), at revising, reforming, or replacing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

    And while I, or no one else as far as I can tell, has any clue what is going to happen with the ACA and whatever might come next, I have been thinking about benefits, in particular employer sponsored health benefits lately, for reasons that are both boring and not really that important.

    While on a internet foray on this topic over the weekend, (I know, my life is REALLY exciting), I landed on an excellent resource for this kind of data, Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey, which was recently released.

    The annual survey is a joint project of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. The survey was conducted between January and June of 2017 and included 3,938 randomly selected, non-federal public and private firms with three or more employees (including 2,137 that responded to the full survey and 1,801 others that responded to a single question about offering coverage).

    So to get back to the title/question of the post, here is today's CHART OF THE DAY, a quick look at just what employer sponsored health care benefits cost, (the premium) and how much the average employee contributes to that cost. Here's the data, then some comments from me after the chart:

     

    Some thoughts...

    1. Wow, that chart is harder to read than I hoped for. Here is a link to the in a much larger size.

    2. In case you still have trouble making out the details, for 2017 the average cost (premium) for employer-based family coverage was $18,764 annually with the employee contributing, on average, $5,714, or about 30% of the premium.

    3. This split, or ratio of employer funding to employee contribution varies a bit by company size. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, companies larger than 200 employees contribute about 72% of the annual premium, while smaller employers (fewer than 200 employees), only contribute 64%. This difference equates to about an extra $1,600 annually that the employee would have to contribute.

    4. Surprisingly, the rate of premium increases has slowed in recent years. According to the survey, annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 3 percent to $18,764 this year, continuing a six-year run of relatively modest increases.

    5. There are about 151 million Americans who are covered via an employer-sponsored healthcare plan. That makes the employer market by far the single largest source of health care coverage for folks in the US.

    Really interesting data, and there is lots more to dig into at the KFF site.

    As I said, I have no clue what is going to happen with ACA, or whatever might come next. But I do think the more you know about how many Americans access and pay for health care the better informed you will be and the better prepared to make decisions for yourself, your family, and your organization.

    Friday
    Apr212017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 282 - HR, Organizations, and Employee Student Loan Debt

    HR Happy Hour 282 - HR, Organizations, and Employee Student Loan Debt

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Jen Bailey, Director Business Development, Tuition.IO

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show recorded live at the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference, Steve Boese is joined by Jen Bailey from Tuition.IO, the leading employer funded student loan contribution platform to talk about employee student loan debt, and the opportunity for HR and organizations to offer student loan repayment contributions as an employee benefit.

    In the US, student loans are at record levels, and more and more employees are entering the workforce with stunning debt levels that they have to pay down. Some progressive employers have turned to student loan repayment contributions to help employees better manage their debts, while also serving as a powerful talent retention and attraction tool. A recent study reported that 86% of employees would remain at an employer for 5 years if student loan repayment contributions were offered as a benefit.

    Jen talked about how the platform works, how an employer evaluates their options in setting up a student loan repayment contribution, and the ROI that employers are seeing from implementing these student loan repayment benefit programs.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a super interesting discussion about a very important topic for HR and Benefits leaders, as well as society overall.

    You can learn more about Tuition.IO here.

    Thanks to our show sponsor Virgin Pulse - check them out at www.virginpulse.com

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Thursday
    Mar162017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 278 - The ACA in 2017: What HR and Benefits Leaders Need to Know

    HR Happy Hour 278 - The ACA in 2017: What HR and Benefits Leaders Need to Know

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Shan Fowler, Benefitfocus, Chris Condeluci, CC Law & Policy

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, recorded live at Benefitfocus One Place 2017 Conference, Steve Boese is joined by Shan Fowler of  Benefitfocus and Chris Condeluci of CC Law & Policy to talk repeal, replace, reconciliation, and all things ACA in 2017.

    Any HR and Benefits leader who is following the news surrounding the potential repeal and replacement of the ACA is no doubt facing questions and concerns about what is really happening in Washington, what these potential changes mean for employers, and how best to keep informed and prepared for the future of the ACA and whatever may come next.

    Chris and Shan talked about what is most likely to happen with the current legislation under consideration, a timeline of what seems likely to occur in the next several weeks, and what might happen in the balance of 2017.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or using the widget player below (Email and RSS subscribers click through)

    This is an important, fast-moving, complex, and fascinating topic, and one that all HR and Benefits leaders need to have top of mind as events unfold. Listen to the show to learn more about what is happening, and how you can stay ready for what might be coming soon.

    And Steve gives a solid 'Schoolhouse Rock' reset along the way.Thanks to Shan and Chris as well as everyone on the Benefitfocus team for hosting this special episode of the HR Happy Hour Show.

    Learn more at www.benefitfocus.com.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.